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Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury Attorneys

March 19, 2024
Personal Injury Law

You have no doubt been bombarded by Denver personal injury ads, so you know that you’re supposed to call a personal injury attorney after a car crash. But do you understand what a personal injury lawyer does and the many ways we can help crash victims?

A lot of emphasis is put on money, which is the number-one thing that crash victims need, but there are a lot of important steps and processes to go through before victims get a check. Picking an attorney who is deeply experienced in Colorado personal injury law means that you will receive much more than just a check.

In fact, seasoned attorneys can almost guarantee that the check you receive is bigger and more comprehensive than the amount that a rookie can get you. (And an experienced attorney from a small firm is often much more willing to spend the time it takes on your case to get that bigger check than one of those “marketing machine” firms where you are just a number. But I digress.)

Navigating the complexities of personal injury law can be overwhelming, especially in the aftermath of an accident or injury. To help demystify the process and provide clarity, I’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions in personal injury cases.

What is Personal Injury Law?

Scales of justice for a denver personal injury attorney

Personal injury law covers a wide range of situations where an individual may suffer harm due to another’s negligence or intentional actions. Common scenarios include vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, workplace injuries, slip and fall incidents, and more. If you can demonstrate that another’s negligence or intentional act caused your damages, you might be entitled to compensation through their insurance policy.

In the case of car crashes, personal injury attorneys can help prove that another driver’s actions lead to your injuries and losses. However, that is just the beginning of the process because the at-fault driver’s insurance company will try to prove that you, the victim, are partially to blame. A personal injury attorney fights those insurance battles for you.

How Do I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

Immediately after an injury, it’s crucial to seek medical attention and report the incident to the police. Your health is your first priority. Second, and also extremely important, is proof that you are not to blame for the crash. This is why you absolutely must call the police to any accident scene.

Third, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. This step can significantly impact the trajectory of your case, helping you navigate the complexities of the legal process and ensuring your rights are protected. Hiring a personal injury attorney early in the process helps protect you from simple mistakes that you might make without understanding the big picture.

To hire a personal injury attorney in Denver, I recommend that you call two or three attorneys. How do you pick a personal injury attorney? Referrals from happy customers are better than billboards or commercials. During your free consultation with these attorneys, make sure that you feel heard, that you don’t feel rushed, and that your case won’t be handed off to a paralegal. Make sure you will hear from your attorney personally throughout your case.

How Much Do Personal Injury Attorneys Cost?

A common concern is the cost of pursuing a personal injury case. Most personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only collect a fee if they successfully recover compensation on your behalf, typically taking a percentage of the settlement or judgment.

If you ever talk to a personal injury attorney who requires a retainer to take your case, run the other direction. This is a cue that he/she cannot afford to represent you from their own financial resources. You need an attorney with enough financial stability to take on all of the up-front costs related to your case.

What if I Have a Pre-Existing Condition or I’m Partially at Fault?

Pre-existing conditions and car accident law suits

Having a pre-existing condition doesn’t preclude you from seeking damages for an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. However, it may complicate the case, potentially reducing the damages awarded to account for the pre-existing condition. The involved insurance companies will absolutely try to use your pre-existing condition against you to limit the amount they owe you. Talking to insurance companies is tricky business because they record their calls with you and train their representatives to get you to say things that might harm your case. They also try to get their hands on medical records that they have no right to review.

Similarly, being partly at fault for an accident doesn’t necessarily bar you from recovering damages, though the amount may be adjusted based on your degree of fault, depending on the state’s specific laws.

The more complex your case is, the more likely you need a personal injury attorney on your side.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim?

The duration to settle a personal injury claim can vary widely, with many factors influencing the timeline, including the case’s complexity, the amount of money involved, and the clarity of liability. Most personal injury cases are settled out of court, but reaching a settlement can still take time. Once a settlement is agreed upon, receiving the settlement check typically occurs within a few weeks.

Can I Get Paid for Medical Bills and Lost Wages After a Car Crash?

Woman with lost wages after a car crash examines medical bills in Colorado

Short answer: yes. Your personal injury attorney should fight to cover all of your medical bills and losses, and even pain and suffering. However, it can be a long time before you get a check. In the interim before a settlement is reached, you may need to use personal resources or insurance coverages, such as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in car accidents to cover medical bills and lost wages. These costs may later be reimbursed from the settlement proceeds.

Because it can take years for a case against the at-fault driver’s insurance company to settle, victims often become stressed by the bills that keep coming in. Sometimes, victims choose to settle before they should just so they can get a portion of the money they’re owed to pay off the creditors howling on their phones.

But there is a way to get all the treatment you need and put the creditors off completely until you get the full settlement you’re owed. It’s called a medical lien company. In fact, there are several ways that an experienced personal injury attorney can help you financially survive until your settlement check comes in.

Personal injury cases are complex and can be daunting, especially when dealing with the aftermath of an injury. Understanding your rights, the legal process, and the steps you can take to protect your interests is essential. Consulting with a qualified personal injury attorney early can provide the guidance and support needed to navigate these challenges and pursue the compensation you deserve.

If you have been injured in a car crash and you need advice from a personal injury attorney, contact The O’Sullivan Law Firm today for a free consultation. 303-388-5304

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